Mike Pence and Donald Trump are at odds.
Trump thinks Pence betrayed him and Pence wants to take Trump’s job as president and leader of the GOP.
Mike Pence held a secret meeting that Donald Trump will not be happy about.
Former Vice President Pence convened a donor meeting where political operatives that worked in the Trump administration and his past campaigns as well as establishment Republicans planned to headline an event to schmooze with big money fat cats in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
Pence scheduled the event to benefit his Advancing American Freedom group ahead of the 2022 midterm elections where Pence figures to campaign across the map to build up chits ahead of a possible 2024 presidential campaign.
The retreat was invite-only, with attendees asked to contribute in the six- and seven-figure range, according to a person familiar with the matter. The two-day affair included activities like shooting and horseback riding with Pence, and a nature walk with former second lady Karen Pence. Organizers expect to host a similar event next year.
Speakers at the conference included House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, the Republican Governors Association chair and a Pence ally. Several top Trump administration officials attended, including former National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow, Paul Teller and Kellyanne Conway, a former Pence pollster. Marc Short, Pence’s former chief of staff, also presented.
Donald Trump is still mulling a 2024 presidential campaign and also harbors bad feelings towards Pence after Pence explained he did not have the constitutional authority to reject certified results of states’ Electoral College results.
In multiple interviews Trump left out Pence’s name when asked to list future leaders of the Republican Party.
And if Trump passed on a 2024 campaign it is likely Trump will spend the race criticizing Pence.
Trump also likely will not be happy with the fact that former top officials in his administration like Kellyanne Conway and Larry Kudlow are joining team Pence.
If Mike Pence does run for president in 2024, the media would rate him as a top contender.
As the former vice president, Pence would have access to the kind of donor base to build a first-rate political operation and campaign.
But there is a segment of Donald Trump’s base that will never support Mike Pence because of what happened in the aftermath of the 2020 election and January 6.
If Pence does launch a presidential campaign, he will have a difficult time answering questions about how if Donald Trump doesn’t want him to be president, America should not either.
Other top party leaders may decide that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is the consensus candidate that appeals to all factions of the party.
For now, Pence is plowing ahead with putting together the early stages of a presidential campaign and ignoring the naysayers.
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